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tv   [untitled]    December 20, 2011 5:01pm-5:31pm EST

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and syria is on the brink of a civil war the country's opposition now calling for military and foreign intervention but will intervention only create more tension in that part of the world. it's tuesday december nineteenth five pm in washington d.c. i'm liz wahl and you're watching r.t. well from down drones to hack computers the u.s. house suffered some major technological blows recently this as the u.s. splurges on military spending and often touts being the best when it comes to advanced technology but apparently we're not advanced enough for other countries to take down our drones iran claims to have hijacked one of our most advanced spying tools as it was flying over the country the drone which iran says they intercepted
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was made by lockheed martin and one of the world's largest defense contractors the company advertised as being the best when it comes to combat and cyber threats take a look at their ad. greater. so they claim to protect national security by preventing cyber threats but somehow one of lockheed's drones as it up here in the hands of iran the country claims to have hijacked the drone by being technologically savvy hacking into its g.p.s. system and telling it to land exactly where it where they wanted it to land and
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apparently they did such a good job the aircraft appears to be in pristine condition so how can the most militarily advanced country be vulnerable to such a cyber failure to dig deeper into this i want to bring in dr paul craig roberts columnist economist and former reagan and ministration official welcome paul so how can the u.s. invest so much on your own that can so easily be taken down well perhaps we had to outsource charge ford and maybe china made the parts force perhaps they don't want it to be so effective united states has lost so much of its manufacturing capability that it can no longer produce all of its weapons systems it has to. go abroad for parts for its own weapon systems that may have something to do with this so you're saying the parts
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aren't up to par because we have to get some of them from china well they may be easily hackable in order to me why would chant i want us to have. perfect happens. when we have when we have. what plans against of all. that will that is a him how does it interesting point apparently though lockheed martin knew about these glitches all along yet they still allow them to fly and given their ability to be hacked as we just saw on iran i mean is it possible that these drones can pose a danger to us if they're so easily you know taken down. you know i'm not an expert on this but it would be funny if someone would say want to hack it redirect back to central. you know hackers have tremendous skill and they sometimes have more skills than the people building the items maisky say
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that would certainly be ironic if that did happen if it turned around and went right back at us but hopefully they fix it before it turns into that one if they also mention that this is iran a country that is considered to be inferior when it comes to being technologically savvy so i mean if iran can down our drones presumably other countries with much more so that are considered to be more sophisticated at cyber hacking can do the same. that's likely to be the case and you know since this problem has been identified needs to be facts and that means the drones up the military spent millions and millions of dollars on will now need to be replaced need to be upgraded i don't know if we if they just need to fix it or if it's all new fleet is needed i mean could this possibly possibly be an excuse to keep military spending well and it could have been intentional so so they can get new contracts like that
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the military defense industries are mainly interested in their profits and they have all kinds of problems with things that make all sorts of cost overruns. but there never seems to be terribly military spending spending you would in rule out the. quest for profits as being behind this that you know you can't rule out anything anymore. well that is true as speaking of technologically technological glitch as i wanted to bring another example to this case of bradley manning the r.v. army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive military documents and cables so wiki leaks and he supposedly did this through downloading the files onto a lady ga ga desk i think it's a common one lady ga ga this how is it possible that with our with our advanced technology and and massive spending on security about a hack like this can happen i mean shouldn't there be something in place to prevent
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it from happening in the first place well i think what we're finding is that nothing much is secure a sphere difficult to have secured transactions and all sorts of things get hacked that people didn't expect to be hacked and so i'm not surprised. it went to sturbridge me about it is the treatment bradley manning has received for what two years now. this is in my view inexcusable. as a united states soldier he is requirement to report war crimes and if he actually did what he's accused of doing then he did his duty and so wisely being punished. you know and we are we're going to have a lot more on the bradley manning later on in the show bring it back to do this topic of technology here paul i also wanted to bring another example to you this
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example is of the navy seal chopper that was shot down in august and resulted in the deaths of thirty american troops and seven others i mean it was a should nuke c.h. forty seven helicopter i think we have an image of it now this this wasn't the first time that this happened these large slow moving air transport carrier carriers that you see on the screen are particularly vulnerable to enemy fire so the question becomes why risk american lives by using these helicopters and why hasn't the military come up with anything better. well yes and why have we trained seals. concentrated in one of these in fact it was this the seal unit that was from which the alleged. killers have been the drawl. and to
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a lot of people they've looked at this. very skeptically lark well. how could this have happened because not very many still a couple were shot down. the taliban don't service their weapons so. a lot of people suspect more than. problems still a good coach paul i want to talk to you about another topic syria i'm going to get back to you in a moment about that the country is growing isolated under sanctions from arab states the u.s. and the e.u. the sanctions are response to syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters the opposition is now calling for arab military intervention to protect them from government security forces paula i want to keep you in the conversation but first i want to show you a story from one of our correspondents on the ground there in syria here's sarah
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firth from holmes with the latest. we're here in the embattled city of homs and you can hear heavy gunfire in the background but it's really hard to fathom the sheer insurances of the civilian population here live here as we're called to wait a month after month they've had to endure this conflict. to deal going finally is taking its toll. there are neighborhoods that have been suffocated surrounded by armed groups there many people who could not have had enough did we do to deserve this homs is being described as a city on the brink of civil war where some of the series this is fighting has broken out. driving through the streets there are clear signs of conflict bullet holes and windy pains and he was deemed slogans on walls and as a heavy military presence we went able to visit some of the areas where concentrated fighting was continuing it would be empty dangerous to visit. us in
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other areas of the fifty day life struggles zone movie it's in the backdrop of gunfire. you can see the children playing in the homes this is the one of the major . this conflict continues for the safety of the civilians to continue living here and this is the situation in homes right now is far more complex than simply one of the opposition against the regime had deep seated sectarian conflicts with their heads. from the very beginning homes it was because the equalized numbers. much more than in other cities. a military funeral held yesterday gets underway for five soldiers killed by what the government says is an increase in the militant movement and on the same day the pool's from the opposition the harrowing accounts the civilians around the country. make serious decision to allow the arab league to
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send observers to the more important this is naturally we want to facilitate their visits to syria and in the same time preserve our sovereignty so really it depends on the intention do they really want to help syria or corners. was the decision by the main opposition outside the country yes and see. who is the opposition inside the country has welcomed in the north. we hope it's going to be implemented on the ground as it stated in the protocol and we remain completely against international intervention it would lead the country to destruction. with a fractious opposition and rising death toll with facts and information still very hard to verify even on the ground is a rival here in syria will be an important step but it's going to be just one of many more that we need to and seeing to ensure that no more lives.
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the city of homs. so let's bring in columnist and former reagan administration official dr paul craig roberts back into the conversation paul we got reports earlier this week that the u.s. is involved in training fighters on the border of syria is it possible that they are plotting are helping to plot a civil war in the country and i've seen those reports too. i would think that the united states is involved and stirring up the opposition and in arming it it's a way to justify intervention on humanitarian terms they use the cover of the arab spray in the arab protests as they did in libya so. these are not. spontaneous protest and certainly in an authoritarian
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state i like their syria you wouldn't find people in opposition able to regularly supply them selves with arms with military weapons and this is not any longer just protests it is an armed. rebellion and it makes no sense it makes no sense for the syrians to themselves are up opportunity for the country to be destroyed like it's like libya or iraq or or afghanistan and i suspect that's what's coming to them you know many years ago the neoconservatives and sent out their document calling for the u.s. to overthrow the regimes and syria iraq afghanistan and libya and i think even saudi arabia. and we may simply be watching this as it works its way through. when syria syria goes iran is in the target sights and
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lebanon and so there will be knocking all of these countries one by one while they stand there and don't unite in fact they can't unite and that's why they're so vulnerable so you think that there is much more behind this than the justification of going in there for humanitarian purposes when they stir up the uprising and that then becomes an excuse for saving the people of course who got saved in libya. and i think i think on the whole what what what's involved here is the russians have a naval base in syria and the americans don't want a russian they will presence in the mediterranean. and just as in linear the problem was the chinese all investments. washington doesn't wall independent all
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supplies for china and so there are many deep feigns going on that don't get into the news they don't get to discuss. and want to ask you about that about. why isn't the us media reporting on this of this presence of u.s. troops on the ground there this is something that is being reported in turkey and other countries a why aren't we hearing about this u.s. troop presence here in the u.s. in the media here well there's no longer an independent media. in the united states . it's. it was monopolized it's highly concentrated it's no longer run by journalists and they're very severely censored and the media has become a propaganda ministry sexualizing to and for the corporations and so i think that's
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why people turn to our t.v. there's more reporting there and as why they turn to internet sites because they can find out things they can get from what's called the mainstream print and t.v. media and the united states why keep this a secret. what is part of the agenda there to keep this a secret well they want him american people to see for it to support it and so it has to be presented as a humanitarian intervention not as something that we started out as an excuse you see like with iraq they used nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and they concocted another argument in libya and so now there can concocting a humanitarian argument for syria will that if the people notice then how does the government convince them that it didn't stir up for the purpose of attacking syria
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it can so it has to keep them in the dark about it in order to achieve its goal. paul thank you so much for sharing your insight on all of this that was dr paul craig roberts former reagan administration official economist and columnist. well still ahead on our two from bradley manning to julian a song the whistle blowers are being hunted down and punished for shining the spotlight on american military. the author. about why people are less inclined to step forward and speak out.
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if we just put a picture of me when i was like nine years old don't you tell the truth. i'm a contestant i'm a total get of friends that i love rap and hip hop music and for. that he was kind of the jester day. i'm very proud of the will without you she has played. the for. a. little. actress lindsay low and back you try to hold the great hope that is women meant
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nothing people are suggesting she's a mother no she says she's a star. on. a. serious. plan. let's not forget that we. were. i think. the one.
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we never got the. safe ready for freedom. well when it comes to punishing whistleblowers president obama is proving to be more aggressive than all previous presidents combined pretrial hearings are under way for one of them wiki leaks whistleblower bradley manning the twenty four year old i'm an army private is accused of releasing a video which shows a u.s. apache helicopter shooting and killing iraqi civilians and to journalists manning faces a slew of charges including aiding the enemy if convicted he could face life behind bars meanwhile wiki leaks editor in chief julian assad is fighting his extradition so when there is a whistleblower when what is a whistleblower i fear out or
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a criminal and what the manning case underway what is the future of whistleblowing and the federal government chase model are is the author of this book the passion of a bradley manning he joins me now from our new york studio welcome chase so is whistleblowing being criminalized in the u.s. today. yes it is once again as we see in the case of bradley manning but i think the case of bradley manning will fit a familiar historical pattern where whistleblowers are first demonized crip criminalized but then later seen as heroes this happened with dan ellsberg this happened with karen silkwood and it happened to a great many other patriotic whistleblowers in our history and what is happening now we mentioned a little earlier that the obama administration has been the most aggressive and prosecuting whistleblowers why are we seeing this this crackdown more so today. well it's certainly a cruel betrayal of barack obama's campaign promises he did campaign as the
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whistleblower's best friend and instead he has launched more prosecutions under the espionage act of one nine hundred seventeen against whistleblowers than all previous presidents combined. what does he have to gain from this. i think very little i think our country has a great deal to gain by welcoming whistleblowers and especially the revelations in weiqi leaks you know the idea that we should know what our government is doing both at home and abroad that's not something that was cooked up by weiqi leaks last year it's a very old idea it's a very good idea and it's been a central part of the american political tradition after all it was james madison who said that a popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a tragedy or a farce or perhaps both and i'll remind you that james madison was not some hippie
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and arcus from one nine hundred sixty eighth he was the fourth president of the united states in the primary author of our constitution and you know the whistleblower protection enhancement act that is meant to protect whistleblowers so that they are said they do feel comfortable coming forward this seems to be being held up in congress to what extent do you think that the manning play if it's feeding this resistance. i think it's feeding it a great deal how much does that matter i don't really know i think this particular act is a very mild reform it's a cautious baby step forward it's a good thing but it's only when enough people in the united states are mobilized in the willing to be skeptical of the government's claims that every single whistle blowing revelation is somehow a grievous threat to national security then whistleblowers will be safe and that we'll be safe overall as a nation and when it comes to whistleblowing i mean how easy is it for someone to
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blow the whistle anonymously on the government these days i mean if somebody does know about wrongdoing how can they disclose that information and at the same time protect themselves or i mean is there even an outlet to do that or is wiki leaks and the media media are they the only alternatives. well unfortunately our media does not do a good job i think one of the reasons why bradley manning did not go say to the new york times or the washington post was that these mainstream media outlets had done such an incredibly shoddy job in the past ten years especially during the buildup to the iraq war when their coverage was uncritical and really nothing more than stenography of what the bush cheney administration was publicly saying so it would be nice if we had an active vigorous media as paul craig roberts was just saying but i can't say that we really have it right no. we kill eeks has been an
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alternative for a while it may well go under given the legal problems the infighting and perhaps even prosecutions from the u.s. government but even if we can leaks does go under there are many copycat sites and like minded groups that are springing up that are one step ahead of the government authorities in and are able to publicize important information relevant information that the public needs to know so even if we can least goes under that will by no means be the end of whistle blowing in america and the case what does this say about the media and the role of the media in the united states that so much more information is exposed exponentially more information is exposed through through bradley manning there wiki leaks. it's been really eye opening for the public to see really what does go on i mean what does it say about the media
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because the media is supposed to be a government watchdog. well the role of the media as a government watchdog that's a cherished myth for many mainstream journalists that they are adversarial that they're tough on government i think the truth is that they are deeply embedded just like many millet reporters were embedded with military units in iraq and afghanistan our media at home is deeply embedded in the culture of washington officialdom and they do the whole a pretty lousy job of holding up critically the official statements of our government you know it's very bizarre here in america there is a very healthy distrust of washington sometimes or more than a healthy distrust of government in general and yet both the media and the public at large are weirdly acquiescent to whatever washington says about foreign policy about state craft and above all about national security i think the weekly leaks
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revelations have been an important breakthrough so people can see the raw information for themselves i think this adds to our national security by helping us make better informed decisions as a people as a public and helps us be more critical of the official statements of washington and of the media who are not reliable watchdogs and lastly want to ask you about the importance of whistleblowers in our society today and why you think it's important to have them on and along with that the future of whistleblowing and the u.s. . the whistle blowing is a great american tradition and i have full confidence that even if bradley manning is put away for life god forbid it will continue i mean the our history is dead anywhere you look even in bradley manning's home state of oklahoma very close to where he grew up is the plutonium processing plant now closed where karen silkwood
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the trade union activist exposed cabot contamination and then died under fishy circumstances in one thousand nine hundred four under way to a meeting with the journalist even slightly farther away also in oklahoma you had the great historian edgey de bono who in the 1930's blew the whistle on how wealthy white lead donors had swindled the indians out of their lands and territories in oklahoma she was blacklisted by the state barred from teaching in the state and decades later she was rehabilitated it is now a hero and intellectual hero throughout the southwest thank you even if. i'm tired and you're out anywhere running out of time but thank you for weighing in on that with chase matt our. passion bradley manning well that does it for now for more on the stories we covered going r.t. dot com flash usa and check out our you tube page at the you tube dot com slash artsy america you can also follow me on twitter atlanta lall well see you right
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back here at seven o'clock but before that the ellen show is coming up. you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so for langley you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture. on. the news today violence is once again flared up and from these are the images the world has been seeing from history.

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